Vice President of Corporate Programs, United States Chamber of Commerce
Contact Person: Mr. Clint Wheeler, Vice President of Corporate Programs
Phone Number: (202) 463-5882
Clint Wheeler has been part of the Chamber of Commerce for the past eight years. The Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing over three million businesses. Mr. Wheeler began his career directly after graduation from James Madison University in 1988. He started alongside the CEO of American Trucking and worked there for 18 years. At this time, he made a proposal to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to a department he thought was needed: Corporate Programs Division. He is now the head of that new department. The CPD organizes all of the events for the members in the Chamber. It has four full-time event planners, handles its own technical services, and has its own marketing team to book spaces for internal and external customers. Along with that, he also has his own catering department which does over $2.6 million a year in catering.
Mr. Wheeler believes that great communication, organization and logistical skills are key components of his day-to-day success. All of these are exemplified in his average daily routines. He generally starts his day at 7:30 AM by checking his email, getting caught up on the news to see if there is anything about Chamber organizations, and reviewing his call lists. At 8:00 AM most of his staff begins to arrive, then from 9:00-11:45 AM he attends different staff meetings. From about 2:00-2:30 PM he spends time catching up again by returning calls. Returning all calls within 24 hours ensures that he is "responsive, or people don't think that you care or don't trust you." From 2:30-5:30 PM he is in meetings and finally for the rest of the day until 6:45 PM that is when he says he actually gets something done. This is a typical schedule on weekdays. On Saturdays he works for two hours and on Sundays, one. Mr. Wheeler is generally traveling 100 nights of the year. The time spent on the plane is when he gets the majority of his work done as well as thinking and planning.
Mr. Wheeler's advice for students preparing to enter the hospitality field is to do their homework and to figure out exactly what they want to do. Then when that is figured out, he advises to make a plan and research it. He says to make sure to look at every angle of the plans to understand every side of the business. He also said not to be concerned with money, vacation time, or work hours at a young age, but instead to just focus on the right job. He advises to be willing to give up certain things to get all of the "great benefits" that are desirable. Finally, he said "to be willing to stay up late and get up earlier than the rest of your industry" to be successful in hospitality.